Bhubaneswar: A baby was born in Odisha with a spinal cord anomaly which doctors Thursday claimed to be the world’s first recorded bony tail in the thoracic region.
The ‘tail’ had been removed in a private hospital in Bhubaneswar, Prof (Dr) Ashok Kumar Mahapatra who conducted the surgery along with another neurosurgeon told reporters.
“The newborn baby had a spinal cord anomaly with a tail at upper back and a dermal sinus pit in the coccygeal (tailbone) area and this is the only known case of a bony human tail in thoracic region,” he said.
A congenital dermal sinus is a scaly, multi-layered channel of tissue found along the body’s midline anywhere between the nasal bridge and the tailbone.
Most humans grow a tail in the womb, which disappears by eight weeks. Sometimes, however, the embryonic tail does not disappear and the baby is born with it.
“Human tail is a rare congenital condition and 195 such cases have been reported in the world so far. But a true bony human tail is exceedingly rare and 26 cases have been reported and they are all at the lower end of the spine in coccygeal region,” Mahapatra said.
In this case, however, it was located in the thoracic area, said the neurosurgeon at the Institute of Medical Sciences & SUM Hospital.
The baby was born in a community health centre in Puri district. The infant was then brought to the private hospital.
Mahapatra along with neurosurgeon Dr Rama Chandra Deo conducted a surgery to remove the tail.
“The baby successfully underwent three surgeries in one sitting which was conducted November 25 last year and has been doing well. It is a rare case and needs to be reported to increase public awareness,” said neurosurgeon Dr Soubhagya Panigrahi who was also present at the press conference.